I remember those days when I was younger: my dad was by my side all the time. He was there for me when I cried, he was there for me during my happy times, and he was there for me when I was in dire need of help. I always looked up to him. In school, teachers often asked this question: “Who do you want to be like when you grow up?” I’d always say that I would like to be like my dad. My father (and mother) is (/are) everything to me.
As we mature – both physically and emotionally – we learn many things on the way. We finally get to understand what our parents tried to say to us, such as advice like “don’t bite your nails!” that we could not understand so long ago. I expect that at that point of our lives we would have asked our parents why they said what they said. In response they probably would have said that we were too young to understand.
Humans are just so interesting because we are able to evolve and rapidly adapt to our surroundings. As a result, our personality changes because of that. Usually we’ll see a drastic change of personality from who we were. Take me for example, I was the good boy, the good kid; the boy who always listened to the elders when I was younger. That changed when I reached the teenage years. I blame myself for my personality changes because I succumbed to bad peer influence.
Every action has a price to it and I had to pay for what I had done. Growing into the rebellious teenager I was, my relationship with my parents turned sour. I was insolent, rude, untruthful and sinful as a person. I guess as a teenager, I didn’t see much of others; I was being selfish and arrogant. People say that parents scold their children because they love them so much. At first, I thought that that was a phrase with no depth. As such, quarrelling became a norm. Little did I know that their feelings for me were genuine. Nowadays, teenagers seek enjoyment and fun, but little do they know that their true enjoyment lies within the family. Who will be there when we are in trouble? Is it our family or our friends?
Luckily, I was given an opportunity to fix things back, patch up the holes that I had created, and repair the biggest damage that I’d done in life due to some incidents that had occurred such as failures and misunderstandings. The most important question was “How?” How do I fix things? First things first, I had to fix myself up before fixing others. Our personalities and characters determine the outcomes of our relationships with others. It was hard at first because I’m no longer the toddler that I used to be. There is a saying in Malay, “meluntur buluh biarlah daripada rebungya” which means that if you want to train or change something, do it at a younger age as it will be much easier because we tend to be a bit stone hearted as we grow up. Now, I am thankful that I have changed a lot. I try to understand people rather than force them to follow what I say. I look at things in a more positive way. I don’t see a glass of water half empty, but I see it half full.
Above all, I am thankful that I have great parents who care for me. I’d just like to share, remind others and myself that we have to respect our parents and love them. No matter who we become in the times to come, they are the ones who have shaped and moulded us into the people we are today. It’s okay to be scolded, to be mocked by our parents especially because before you know it, they might not be there for us anymore.
Possibly, one of Kemai’s biggest mistakes in life is not being able to love and care for his family. He hopes that others won’t repeat the same mistake as he did. Family always comes first before friends.